Adam Gavrakovs knows the pain of rehabilitation.
In grade 8, the Humberside Huskies grad tore up his knee in a game of touch football at Runnymede Public School.
The injury cut right to the bone.
“I had to get a bunch of stitches and staples, and it was a pain to rehab,” he said. “That just took a lot, and I couldn’t handle contact sports for a while after.”
But once he graduated elementary school and entered Humberside, the competitive spirit in him took hold. He joined cross country, golf and track and field.
“I just got right back into it,” he said. “It will probably be a little difficult when I get older, just because of the nature of the incident.
“I thought why not go out and do all the things I possibly can do before it gets any worse, potentially.”
In grade 10, he returned to the world of contact sports, when he joined football, hockey and lacrosse. To alleviate the stress of his previous knee injury he continues a regiment of weight training and long-distance running.
Those long sprints also lent support to several Toronto charities. He and fellow Humberside athlete of the year, Alison Findlay, ran in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Sporting Life 10 km for kids with cancer.
Humberside, Gavrakovs said, allows students to reveal their altruistic side.
“The school makes it very accessible to do all that kind of stuff, which they do a good job,” Gavrakovs said. “It’s a lot easier to get involved when your school promotes doing that kind of work.”
Charitable work aside, his fondest memories include going to OFSAA in 2009 with the Huskies hockey squad.
“That was pretty fun going away to St. Catharines, staying in a hotel with the guys and playing,” he said.
That, and playing with brothers Rob and Will on the lacrosse team this past year.
“It was fun, just because we’ve known each other for so long,” he said. “We already have the chemistry and we kind of know each other’s personalities so we can mesh together without really trying too hard.”
He leaves for University of Western Ontario in September, where he’ll study kinesiology, and try out for the Mustangs’ lacrosse team.
But he’ll miss the spirit of athletics tradition inside the gothic frame that sits overlooking Quebec Avenue.
“I think when you walk into that building, it’s a different feeling than a school that’s just been built,” he said of Humberside. “It has a long-standing history of academic excellence and sporting excellence.”